The pandemic may have started in late 2019, but we are still seeing the long-term effects of the fear, isolation, & chaos that ensued. We see the impact this pandemic has had on romantic relationships, social anxieties/issues in our friendships and the overall mental health of our society. Read on to see how we are still struggling with mental health and relationships even after we are ‘getting back to normal’.
Lots of people are finding themselves struggling with romantic relationships- whether they’re currently seeking one or are already in one. Those who are coupled are seeing new stressors arise as they try to get back to feelings of normalcy. There can be struggles with individualism versus couple-ship in this post-pandemic space as social activities become the norm again. Those who are seeking out romantic connections are finding it difficult to connect in real life after spending the past few years dating through a screen. It’s important to remember, coupled or not- that we are all experiencing a ‘newness’ post-pandemic. This “newness” comes with:
- An opportunity to redefine what you want in a romantic relationship, accepting that it may be different from your pre-pandemic partner check list.
- The need to be open and honest with current or potential partners- communicating needs, preferences and fears can help keep you aligned.
- Creating new shared expectations & boundaries to help keep a sense of self while connecting with others.
As we saw over the holidays this year- social engagements are back in full swing- company holiday parties & all. Reconnecting with friends in person can still be an exciting, but scary transition. Social anxiety in adults & children is at an all-time high as many of the social skills & cues that we were so used to pre-pandemic are not as familiar- and some have changed all together. It’s important to remember:
- You ultimately get to decide what your social boundaries are.
- And with that- is your responsibility to communicate them.
- Have an exit plan if a social situation gets too overwhelming.
As a collective, our mental health is still experiencing the impact of a global pandemic- quite possibly for years to come. If you find yourself more anxious, experiencing a lower mood, unmotivated, irritable, having more worrisome thoughts- it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Reaching out for support with mental health and relationships is important as we start to see the long-term effects and social implications of the pandemic on us individually & collectively.
As always, if you’d like a little help connecting more deeply and meaningfully, relationship coaching may help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out – you don’t have to navigate this alone.